Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers demonstrate a new way to characterize twisted light

04.04.2016

Researchers at the University of Rochester have overcome experimental challenges to demonstrate a new way for getting a full picture of twisted light: characterizing the Wigner distribution.

Twisted light has raised researchers' interest for its potential for quantum communication applications. The discrete nature of one of the defining parameters of twisted light, orbital angular momentum (OAM), makes it attractive for encoding quantum information.


To characterize twisted light the researchers looked at the images produced by the interference of a structured laser beam with a replica of that beam rotated by a given angle, including this "Pac-Man."

Credit: Mohammad Mirhosseini

There is also no known fundamental limit to the maximum OAM value that can be coded into a photon, which could allow for quicker communication than with other systems.

But before any particular system can be used in quantum communication, researchers need to be able to measure it and describe it. Other methods to obtain the wavefunction, a property that describes a quantum system in full - such as quantum tomography or direct measurements - have been demonstrated in the past.

However, in a Physical Review Letters paper published this week, the Rochester researchers state that their technique is particularly "suitable for quantum information applications involving a large number of OAM states."

The Wigner distribution is a mathematical construct that completely describes a system in terms of two conjugate variables, that is two variables linked by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Mohammad Mirhosseini, a postdoctoral associate in Professor of Optics Robert W. Boyd's group, and his collaborators at the Institute of Optics have now shown how the Wigner distribution can be obtained for twisted light. The work also represents the first characterization of the Wigner distribution that involves a discrete variable, as is the case with OAM.

"Apart from the potential uses in quantum communication, our work might offer a good way for describing atomic systems with quantized levels," said Mirhosseini. "The Wigner distribution of twisted light is a very complete way to understand the system: not only does it tell us about the relation between these two linked variables, but it also tells us about the system's behavior. We showed that the Wigner distribution for twisted light superpositions contains negative values, which reveals wave-like behavior."

Mirhosseini thinks their work could also show a possible path forward for other experiments.

"Measuring time in quantum systems is not as simple as using a watch - it can prove challenging," says Mirhosseini. "The conjugate variable of OAM, angle, is in many ways similar to phase, which is itself similar to time. So perhaps the lessons learned here can be applied, in other experiments, to systems where we need to measure time."

Media Contact

Leonor Sierra
lsierra@ur.rochester.edu
585-276-6264

 @UofR

http://www.rochester.edu 

Leonor Sierra | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form
13.12.2018 | University of Nevada, Las Vegas

nachricht Unprecedented Views of the Birth of Planets
13.12.2018 | Universität Heidelberg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife

14.12.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>